World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Protecting the Health of the Ocean: A Worldwide Challenge

Protecting the Health of the Ocean: A Worldwide Challenge

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs
June 17, 2014

Just as we share a common dependence on the ocean, we must join together in a common endeavor to save the ocean from damage caused by humans.” – Secretary of State John Kerry

The ocean covers almost three quarters of our planet and is critical to maintaining life on earth. No matter where people live, they depend on the ocean for the food they eat and the air they breathe.

The ocean:
• Regulates climate and weather
• Generates 50 per cent of the oxygen we breathe
• Absorbs excess carbon
• Provides food and a source of income for millions of people

Ocean Degradation
The ocean is at grave risk due to human activity. Challenges include:
• Overfishing
• Garbage patches
• Dead zones
• Ocean acidification

The causes of ocean degradation are clear – and so are the actions needed to restore the ocean’s health. The United States has begun to restore fish stocks and reduce the flow of waste into the marine environment and has launched intensive studies on the effects of rising acidity levels on sea life. Around the world, other governments and partners are addressing the challenges in innovative ways. We can do more.

In June 2014, the U.S. Department of State convened the Our Ocean Conference, bringing together heads of state and foreign ministers, scientists, environmentalists, and business leaders to discuss the state of the ocean, the steps that should be taken to improve it, and solutions to chart the path forward.

Sustainable Fisheries
Many of the world’s fish stocks are depleted. Overfishing, harmful fishing practices, and illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing harm the ecology of the ocean and reduce the long term potential of fish stocks to provide food and jobs. Seabirds, marine mammals, and sea turtles can also be hurt.

Marine Pollution
An estimated 80 per cent of marine pollution originates on land – pollutants that threaten wildlife and the health and safety of humans. Nutrients, coming from sources such as agricultural runoff, sewage and wastewater discharges, create “dead zones” where fish and other marine life cannot thrive. There are an estimated 500 dead zones in the world.

Marine debris, such as trash and other solid material, enter ocean and coastal waters and threaten wildlife and the health and safety of humans. Plastics consistently make up a significant portion of all marine debris. We can combat the marine debris problem through proper collection, handling and recycling or disposal of trash, as well as by reducing consumption and packaging.

Ocean Acidification
As the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, it becomes more acidic. Many marine organisms are unable to adapt to the new conditions. Today, the ocean is 30 per cent more acidic than it was before the Industrial Revolution. And, the chemistry of the ocean is changing ten times faster than at any other time in the past 50 million years.

Tackling the Challenge
Effectively responding to these challenges requires innovation, cooperation and action among governments, NGOs, industry, and other stakeholders. Working together, we will marshal the solutions we have today and create new solutions for tomorrow.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news